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• Site Around City
 • King of Banian Tree • Ruili River • Da Yingjiang River • Tiger Jumping Rocks • Great Golden Pagoda • Wanding Bridge and Forest Park • Yunnan - Burma Road
Yunnan - Burma Road
The road was only a trail, when spice and tea caravans made their tortuous journeys westward out of China and when Kublai Khan's Mongolian warriors came storming down from China to conquer Burma after a colossal battle a hundred miles northeast of here with the army of the King of Mian (Burma). This road was also a proof of the time when Marco Polo rode up from Mandalay and crossed into China on his fabulous travels in Asia during the 13th century.
The history and legend state it as the Burma Road, a 548-mile route running from Kunming to Wanding on the border with Burma. Until 1920, the Burma road was little more than a path passing across towering mountains, over great rivers and going through gorges, plains and villages ignorant of modern vehicles. During that time, the construction started from Kunming to make it more than a trail. But it took more than a dozen years for 160,000 Chinese with teaspoons and mattocks and their hands to carve the one track light surface road out of the mountains, some almost 11,000 feet above sea level.
After the Sino - Japanese war broke out, the road was opened to Wanding in which the Burma government had built roads to connect with their Irrawaddy River ports of Bhamo and Rangoon and with the railhead of Lashio.
The road became China's lifeline as some 3,000 overseas drivers and mechanics and administrators were brought in to transport needed military supplies from Burma.
In 1942, the Japanese gained control of the Burma termini of the road. The defending Chinese, in an effort to stop the advancing Japanese, blew up the vital, Salween River Bridge and destroyed 25 miles of the road along a section of the Salween River canyon.
In September, 1943, with Col. Leo Dawson, a U.S. Army engineer in charge of the project, reconstruction of the road was begun, with the Chinese furnishing engineers and up to 30,000 laborers at a time, as well as supplies and materials.
Completed by mid - August 1944, the road connected with the newly built Ledo Road from India to Bhamo, Burma,in territory held by the Chinese. It was soon carrying more tonnage than ever. Land transports have been using the road ever since, albeit it has changed time and again, following new paths. Instead of going through some of the larger towns, she skirts them. There are places where she has abandoned her old route and taken a new, straighter and less steep route.
To travel this modern thoroughfare - they now call her the Kunming - Wanding Road - is to take a journey that lifts the heart and pleasures the eye.
Once you get out of Kunming, the City of Eternal Spring, the Burma Roads was widen to become a 6 lane toll road, with a median strip of flowering shrubs and blooming flowers, and flanked by forested hills and terraced farmlands where fields of yellow rape seed raise their heads to the sun.
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